Friday, March 27, 2015

~ Maybe it's Time to Find Yourself FALLING FOR FREEDOM ~

Welcome back, Eryn! We're glad to have you here for the release of your second book in The Falling for Heroes Series, FALLING FOR FREEDOM! And it was so nice of you to bring along Cara and Edward so we could get a little taste of what's in store for us when reading this book. So, without further ado, let's get to know these two a little.

Gentlemen get to be grilled first. Edward, tell us about yourself. What is your occupation? Why? What are your strengths & weaknesses?

Edward: Hello MJ. Just to let your readers know, I’m Interpol Agent Edward Hannel. I’ve been with the organisation on and off for the last five years. It’s a job I truly love, helping people, solving crimes, serving justice to those who break the law. I do have a weakness for crime scenes involving death, but luckily I have Cara with me for just such occasions. She calms me.

What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?

Edward: My family? Well, we’re a handful – all men including my father, Charles, and my two younger brothers, Rhys and Oliver. You might know Oliver from movies. He starred in The Shock that came out a few years ago. Other than us lads, my mother, Elaine, my sister-in-law, Layla, and my dear Cara are the true backbone of the family. They keep the rest of us in line.

As for the second part of your question, I was raised with a deep appreciation for respect, rules, and manners. Those were further instilled in me during my time in the Royal Marines. Some people today, don’t think those are important and call me old fashioned.

Well I think it's quite noble. How did you meet Cara? What was your first impression of her?

Edward: Oh that’s a fun story. She found me. I was on sabbatical leave from Interpol and she needed my help on a case. The criminal I put away two years prior, Feng Khai, for extortion and abduction of my brother, had been released and was wreaking havoc across the globe. Reluctantly, I agreed to join her crusade.

[Cara joins, taking a seat next to Edward.] 

Cara: Very reluctantly.

[Edward chuckles.] 

Edward: Yes, very. Hello, darling. I was just interviewing for this wonderful author’s blog.

Cara: Don’t let me interrupt.

Edward: Right. So for the second half of your question, there are two things I first noticed about Cara. 

The first being, how stunningly gorgeous she was and the second, the amount of justice I saw brimming in her eyes. At that time in my life I had lost my thirst and seeing her innate desire to bring criminals to justice brought mine around again.

Sounds like a match made in heaven! What else do you like about Cara?

[Edward stares lovingly at Cara. ]

Edward: What do I like about her? Her tenacity, definitely. If it wasn’t for her push and inability to take “no” for an answer, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d be a lost soul.

[Cara takes their linked hands and kisses it.]

Edward: Plus, she has the most wondrous arse in all of the universe.

[He laughs and Cara gives him a swift punch in the arm.]

Edward: Oww! [
He exclaims and recovers for the next question.]

Okay... [clears throat]. What tangible object would symbolize you?

Edward: Hmm, that’s an excellent question. Symbolically I’d chose a circle. Our lives are like a circle. We come from birth and end with death completing that circle. I never thought about how complete and perfect that truly is until recently. As for something tangible to signify the circle, I’d say a ring. A never ending circle to carry on your person.

Wow! Deep. Thank you for your candor, Edward. 

Now it's Miss Cara's turn. Tell us about yourself. What is your occupation? Strengths, weaknesses?

Cara: Hi, I’m Cara Giosino with the FBI. It’s the job I’ve always wanted ever since I was a little girl. The FBI is in our blood. I’m 3rd generation special agent.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

Cara: My earliest childhood memory would have to be going to karate classes with my cousin Enzo. Even at the age of five we were learning how to defend ourselves from future bad guys. Oh and just so you know, Enzo is an FBI agent too.

Wow! Now you get a turn to describe Edward for us. What was your first impression of him and did it change over time?

Cara: Edward already covered how we met, but my first impression of him was different. The poor man looked like a scarecrow: messy beard, loose clothes, vacant eyes. He tugged at my heart but instead of treating him like a porcelain figure, I treated him like the man I knew was in there somewhere. And when I finally met that man, and oh boy – he made my heart flutter.

Is there anything about Edward you would consider a flaw?

Cara: Oh Edward has flaws! [She drawls out.]

Edward: Thanks. [He replies flatly.]

Cara: Hey, we all do. And if I didn’t like your flaws, we wouldn’t be together. [Turning to MJ, she continues.] This man is stubborn and set in his old fashioned ways but when he breaks from those, he’s a beast!

Edward: Cara! [He balks.]

Cara: Sorry, baby. I had to get you back for talking about my bottom.

[Edward smiles but rolls his eyes.]

I'm going to get serious for a moment. Cara, has life handed you any major disappointments?

Cara: Life does have disappointments. We both know that first hand. We’ve lost people in our lives too early and the way I like to see it, we need to learn from those dark times and use them to the best of our abilities. The dark shapes us as much as the light does, if we allow it.

That's beautiful! Thank you, Cara.

So let's learn a bit about FALLING FOR FREEDOM.

Blurb ~

FBI Special Agent Cara Giosino is ballsy and relentless when it comes to justice. When she finds herself in London in furious pursuit of the notorious casino mogul and crime lord Feng Khai, she must give up her solo act and rely upon the fearless Interpol agent who caught Khai the first time.

Edward Hannel is not the man he once was. Tragedy has struck him down, leaving him a shell of his former self. He wants nothing to do with Interpol or the sexy Agent Giosino and her plan to take down the criminal who extorted his brother two years prior. That is until he discovers the madman’s vengeance is still focused on his family.

As they race to capture Khai and protect Edward’s family, neither Cara nor Edward realizes the depth to which this case will take them or how fast their partnership will bloom. And they certainly don’t expect to find such bliss in each other's arms when they finally give in to letting go and being free.

Find Eryn here:



@erynalicia (twitter)

Giveaway ~

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

~ Some DEADLY CURSES You Want to Catch! ~

We've had a a takeover today! A takeover of a pleasant kind. Donna Shields is our guest today and she is here to tell us about her latest release, DEADLY CURSES, and writing paranormal romantic suspense. Let's listen...

Thank you for having me here today. I’m excited to be on the Deadly Curses blog tour. Deadly Curses, a paranormal romantic suspense is the first book in my Magnolia Valley series.

I had someone ask me how I manage to write different stories. I didn’t know exactly what she meant at first, but then realized she was talking about how the stories aren’t the same cookie cutter style, so to speak. Well, I told her that when I write paranormal romantic suspense (3 different elements), the possibilities are endless. Think about all the different paranormal elements you could pick from to write a story about. To name a few, there are shape shifters (again a few to choose from), vampires, ghosts, ghouls, witches, Voodoo, etc. Then there are the different romantic elements such as secret baby, old flames, arranged marriage, marriage of convenience, etc. And finally there is the mass of suspense plots, murder, kidnapping, embezzlement, attempted murder, identity theft, etc. The host of combinations can ensure one story will not be like another, especially when each author puts their own spin on it.

Even the books in the Magnolia Valley series aren’t the same. The first, Deadly Curses, involves a fatal Voodoo curse, grave robbing, murder, and my couple, Ciarra and Trent, who receive a second chance at love. The second book, working title Fatal Intent, involves the mob, betrayal, murder, the ghost of the victim killed and old flames Bianca and Lorenzo. Book three has kidnapping, attempted murder, one who can hypnotize her victims, and a married couple hitting rough patches in their marriage, Book four involves victims being buried alive and a psychic, along with a couple who are complete opposites. Book five and six are still being fleshed out. But as you can see, each is vastly different from the next. But they will all work hand in hand to bring the series arc together.

I love playing the ‘what if’ game. It leads to all kinds of story ideas. This is how I generally start my books. What if there was a magical coin that could transport you to wherever you wanted to go? What if you could never return once you left? What if a witch was chasing you for that very coin?

And that was just a silly start to my what if games. I think there is plenty of choices making lots of diversity in writing so an author couldn’t possibly get bored coming up with some good stories to tell.

Very true! Now let's find out a little bit more about DEADLY CURSES...

Blurb ~

Dr. Trent Moore’s life is complete – a no-strings relationship, financial security, and great health – until he is summoned to his father’s grave and discovers a grave robber stole one of his father’s bones … a finger bone. From there, Trent’s seemly perfect world spirals out of control. Strange occurrences happen, and the sexy lead detective informs him a grief stricken mother has placed a curse upon him. As his near death experiences ramp up, and he finds himself falling in love, he’s beginning to believe there may be some truth to it all. But, will he run out of time before he can tell her he loves her?

When Detective Ciarra Pacelli is assigned to a prominent judge’s suspicious death, she doesn’t know her little world is about to be turned upside down. She discovers other possible victims of a deadly Voodoo curse, one being the gorgeous and stubborn doctor. As she becomes wrapped up in protecting him at all costs, she finds she’s fighting against her developing feelings for him. Once she realizes she can’t, she gives her all in finding a cure against the curse that promises to take him away from her for good.

Excerpt ~

Ciarra straddled the chair close to Trent’s bed resting her head on her hands. His cheeks lacked color. His eyes appeared sunk in. It seemed as if he’d aged within the last two hours.

Gregory came in from the hospital, which was where Trent was attempting to point out through the window just before he passed out, and said Trent probably had a touch of the flu as it was going around, and he was dehydrated.

Flu her ass. More like a damn curse. Ciarra called Tiesha back in. He wasn’t protected. Ciarra looked for the amulet he’d received last night, but never found it.

Trent’s sister in law, Sammy, prepared chicken noodle soup downstairs.

“Oh wow,” Tiesha said upon entering the room. “He doesn’t look very good. About as bad as the other one. I must say your partner’s unbelievable. He’s over there wearing gloves and a mask. I tried to explain to him he couldn’t catch it. But, he won’t listen to a crazy ape like me.”

Ciarra rolled her eyes. High time to give Rick some eye opening life lessons. “What do you think?”

“You should try a shaman or a Vodun priestess. You need to break the curse.” She placed the back of her hand against his cheek. “No fever. If anything, he feels cold and clammy.”

Ciarra eyed her best friend. “So, you know a Vodun priestess I suppose?”

“And a shaman. Which do you prefer? You don’t have a lot of time left.” She pulled out an amulet and handed to Ciarra. “Here is a new one. Place it under his pillow.”

“Thanks for the reminder . . . and the amulet. I guess the best bet would be Voodoo.” Ciarra reached out and ran her hand across the top of his head. She swore she wasn’t going to fall for this man. Yet, she teetered on the edge of a very high cliff with Trent. If only she could just let go and fall.

Jack, oh Jack. What do I do?

Her heart ached, being torn between the dead and the living. How had it happened? Trent lived like a playboy.

But, she could see a side of him he didn’t let out too often. One he wouldn’t really show. But then did a couple of times without knowing, he had.

Ciarra and he were like night and day. They could never last. But, the same could be said for Princess and Brutus. Yet, there the two misfits lay. Brutus the big baby on the rug and precious Princess curled up near his head, as if they had been the best of friends forever. Animals could teach humans a thing or two.

“Hello, Ciarra?” Tiesha waved her hands in front of Ciarra’s face. “Where were you just now?”

Ciarra shook off her thoughts. “Nowhere promising.”

“Oh boy.”

Ciarra raised an eyebrow. “What?”

“Oh this isn’t good. You have fallen flat on your face, huh?”

Ciarra turned away and back to Trent.

Then, it hit her. The whole Florence Nightingale syndrome thing. She only cared for him as a human being. “Nope. There will never be another Jack.” Silly little liar.

“Go ahead and lie to yourself. But Ciarra Pacelli, you are not, and I mean not, fooling me. I know you.”

Ciarra crossed her arms over her chest. “It’s only because I have to protect him.” Finally, something to cling to besides love. Maybe, she wouldn’t be tumbling off the cliff after all. She was lying to herself, but it was the only way to protect her from Trent.

“Again, go ahead and twist it any way you want. You have fallen for him.”

Author Bio ~

I’m Donna Shields, author of paranormal romance and romantic suspense – published with Soul Mate Publishing, mom of six, gramma of four precious cuties and wife to an imperfect, yet amazing husband of fifteen years and counting (He’ll say a hundred, roll his eyes, and smile). Psss…I’m imperfect too, but don’t tell him that….

We call the beautiful state of South Carolina our home where there isn’t much hustling and bustling going on, where people are friendly (for the most part-it’s called that Southern Hospitality), strangers wave and say hello with a smile. And it doesn’t hurt being centrally located where the ocean is a mere three hour drive and the mountains no more than an hour and a half away.

I’ve been writing for five years steadily, but have always dabbled with writing short stories here and there. I’m a sucker (no pun intended) for all sorts of paranormal. And when suspense and adventure is thrown in the mix, I’m a truly happy girl. I enjoy writing both genres and at times the lines between the two blur, combining to make paranormal romantic suspense. My heroines are strong, even if quiet. They are independent, yet scarred and in need of a true love. A real hero, one who understands they need their space, but will love them fiercely. The hero may have a hard exterior, but inside he’s a mush ball. And the hero needs that woman who can tame him down a little and love with all her heart and soul.

You can find Donna here:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads | Amazon

You can buy DEADLY CURSES here:

Giveaway ~

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Friday, March 20, 2015

~ It's Another JARILLO SUNSET with Constance Bretes ~

So happy to have Constance Bretes back on my blog with her newest, JARILLO SUNSET!

Blurb ~

When two strangers meet on a lonely road is it mere coincidence or fate?

Real estate agent Char Johnson is on her way to meet a client when she gets a flat tire. It's a meeting she can't afford to miss since she's just been told she may be out of a job if she doesn't beat out a co-worker in sales over the next few months. When Vincent Carter stops and helps her, she's grateful beyond words and is determined to pay him back for his kindness, which is how she ends up agreeing to be his date to a wedding.

Ever since his divorce Vincent has been on a hiatus from relationships, and he's perfectly happy with that. He's not looking to get involved with anyone, but he does need a date for a wedding.

Although the two discover they enjoy each other's company, and there is definitely an attraction, with their schedules it would be difficult to find time to pursue anything. Vincent works two jobs, and Char is working extra hours to save her own job. Then there's the conniving ex who seems determined to win Vincent back, a whole slew of family drama for both of them, and the list goes on. The obstacles in their way seem to grow by the minute.

And even if they could overcome those, Char may not be able to overcome her own insecurities, not to mention her intense dislike for Vincent's profession. Her father's gambling addiction destroyed their family, so for her to now get involved with someone who works at a casino…

Will Char be destined to be alone forever? Or can the handsome Native American she met by chance break through her walls and ease the loneliness in her life?

Content Warning: contains some sexual content

Excerpt ~

Char Johnson slammed her fist into the steering wheel. "Well, that's just great. I don't know why the hell I get stuck with this company car." Char looked around her surroundings. She was in the middle of nowhere, with a flat tire and a dead cellphone.

Her week had already started out badly. She had been told earlier by her boss that she had three months to beat Mike Ventura in sales. She and Mike were the last two real estate agents hired at Stillwater Realty and they were low on the seniority list. Since the housing market bottomed out, sales had plummeted and one of them would be losing their job. The competition was stiff enough without increasing the competition among employees. She had been on her way to meet a potential seller, but now it looked like she wouldn't make it.

She stepped out of the car then kicked the flat tire. "Ouch!"

She surveyed the area around her. Based on the information she had, she figured she was about two miles from her destination. The sun was beating down, and the temperature was already a sweltering ninety-five degrees and it was supposed to get hotter. The surrounding area was flat, and almost barren, reminding her of the Sahara desert.

She looked down at what she had on—a blue pinstripe business suit with a white blouse that had lace around the neckline and down the front where the buttons were. She had on a pair of expensive Jimmy Choo high heels. At six hundred dollars a pair they would not be good for walking on a dirt road. I'm not dressed for a hiking expedition!

She was short—five foot three—and she wore heels because it put her at eye level with most of her clients and with the staff at Stillwater Realty. She was glad that she'd had the sense to pull her long hair back into a French braid so it was off her neck and not making a hot day hotter. She had thought about getting her hair cut a million times, and a million times, she'd chickened out.

She had worked up the gumption to start walking toward the subdivision when she turned around one last time and thought she saw a car coming way off in the distance. The car looked like a ghostly silhouette with the hot sun beating down from the sky. She decided she would wait a few minutes to see if the car would stop to help her.

* * * * 

On his way home from work at the Apache White Eagle Casino, Vincent Carter turned onto Pueblo Lane, heading down the lone dirt road to his house at the Sunnyside subdivision, south of Jarillo. The county road commission had just leveled the dirt road, making it easier to drive the posted speed. His eyes burned from exhaustion, and he wanted to catch a catnap before going to Jake's tonight. Jake was having a steak dinner cookout with the band. After the band, White Sands, finished their gig at the casino last night, they were taking a break for the next two weeks. Next Saturday Jake was getting married and would be gone for one week on his honeymoon. The band rarely took any time off to relax or take a vacation.

It had been a particularly busy morning at the Apache White Eagle Casino in Hobbs, New Mexico. It seemed the retirees that came in the night before never left the casino to go to bed and he was serving cheap beer and drinks constantly from the time he got there at 4:00 AM until 10:00 AM.

Vincent was feeling agitated and particularly moody this morning. He was happy for his friends Jake and Jennifer. It took them five years to decide they couldn't live without each other. He found that his own self-imposed avoidance of getting involved with someone else meant he would be only one of two guys at the wedding without a date. Hell, the whole damn town of Jarillo was going to be there, so he knew he couldn't miss it.

Vincent saw a movement up the road and lifted his shades up from his nose as he squinted. What the hell was that? As he drew closer, he could see there was a car parked on the side of the road, and a woman stood next to it, waving her hand.That's all I need now, to have to stop to help someone with car problems. He slowed down, pulled up behind the car, and rolled his window down.

The woman walked quickly toward his SUV, her heels sinking into the dirt road as she approached. "Oh, you don't know how happy I am to see you."

"What seems to be the problem?" he asked.

"I have a flat tire, and I don't know how to change it. I'm on my way to meet someone at the Sunnyside subdivision and my cellphone is dead."

Vincent slipped his SUV into park and opened the door and got out. As he walked over to take a look at the tire he saw artwork on the car that indicated it belonged to Stillwater Realty.

After he'd checked out the tire Vincent turned back toward her and he was immediately taken in by her beauty. She had clear green eyes, a lovely face that had little makeup, and auburn-colored hair pulled back in a braid. His eyes dropped to her neck, and then to her chest. She had on a blue pinstripe suit with a white blouse. He couldn't tell for sure, but it looked like she had a pretty spectacular pair of breasts. His eyes went lower, to her waist and then her nicely-shaped hips. The skirt was short, about two inches above her knees, and she had a good looking pair of legs. His gaze drifted a little further, to her feet, and he cringed inwardly when he saw the thick high heels that brought her height up to about five feet five. He couldn't imagine someone walking in those high heels and not tripping or falling. Vincent brought his gaze immediately back up to hers.

"Do you have a spare tire in the car?" he asked.

"Um, I don't know. Let me look." She walked to the back of the car and clicked the little button on the key pad and popped the trunk open. "Oh, I guess I do," she said with a smile that was genuine and lit up her face.




Author Bio~

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She's married to her best friend and resides in Michigan with him and a houseful of cats. When she's not at her regular 8-to-5 job, she can be found writing, researching, and spending time with her husband.

You can learn more about Connie and her books at her website You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

COUSIN Q ~ All the More Sexy Because He's Off Limits!!

Welcoming Tammy J. Palmer and COUSIN Q to our blog!

Blurb ~

Cassie Anderson has a history of falling for the wrong guys; ex -cons, rebels, and hard drinking cheating types. Her most recent mistake had been her part-time employee as well as her live -in boyfriend, and now that he’s gone, she’s struggling to make rent and manage her antique store alone. When her cousin, a man with a history of depression and suicide attempts, shows up looking for work and a place to lay down his sleeping bag, she offers him a job and her guest room.

Q is doing better than ever and the close bond they shared as kids is still strong, but they’re not kids anymore and it’s not innocent. Cassie is determined to change her ways and stop falling for the wrong guys, and that means fighting her attraction to a man who is most definitely off-limits. But is Q really the wrong guy?

Excerpt ~

After his second suicide attempt, my cousin gave up his quest to find peace and settled into a nomad’s life, rotating relatives, camping in attics and basements, trailers and tents, doing odd jobs to earn his keep. I’ve always known my turn would come, so I’m not surprised to see Quinton, or Q as I call him, walk into my antique store carrying a backpack and sleeping bag.

I’m behind the counter ringing up half a dozen Nancy Drew mysteries to a woman who claims she’s buying them for her granddaughter. After she spends a full five minutes telling me how fond she was of the books when she was a girl, I have to wonder who they’re really for. I’m imagining some ten-year-old girl tossing these books into her closet without a second thought, or worse leaving them on her bedroom floor where they will be trampled, while smiling at the woman, agreeing that of course her granddaughter will love the books, and also keeping one eye on Q. I’m curious to see what will grab his interest first.

The winner is a barely used erector set still in its original box. This is not surprising. Q was always building things when he was a kid. I remember him throwing blocks at me one Christmas, after I accidentally knocked down one of his towers, and me crying to my mother. He was such a hot head then, that Grandma Jones used to call him her little Tasmanian Devil.

Grown up Q has none of the fury of kid Q. He looks too thin in the large green army jacket, and the faded jeans worn dangerously low on narrow hips. His dark hair has outgrown its last cut, and a stray lock falls down over the sunglasses he wears to hide his empty right eye socket.

When my customer is gone I step around to the other side of the counter and say, “I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to leave the backpack outside.”

Q turns around, lowering his glasses on one side, revealing one big beautiful brown eye. “It’s me, Cassie.”

“Of course it’s you. I was kidding.” I hug him hard, my cheek coming right up against a cold button on his jacket. I pull back and see that the button reads, Stop the war in Vietnam. There are several patches advocating peace. One arm of the jacket has been cut off above the elbow, revealing the peace symbol tattoo on his forearm, a hand with two fingers forming a V. I touch the frayed edge of his sleeve. “Uncle Otto?”

“How’d you guess?”

Otto is the brother of both our mothers. He survived Vietnam minus an arm and later joined the peace rallies. “I can’t believe he’d give this away.”

Q shrugs. “It was in an old box in his attic with a bunch of other stuff. He said I could have whatever I wanted if I got rid of the rest.”

A rush of excitement overcomes me, “What else was in the box? Is there anything left?”

Q shakes his head and a shadow slips over his face. “Sorry, it looked like junk to me. I should have thought of you.”

Of course he should have thought of me. The unwritten rule in our family is that anything that might possibly be considered an antique should be brought to me before being discarded, but I never could get mad at Q, not even when I had a right to.

Author Bio ~

Tammy J. Palmer writes contemporary romance, has been part of a writing critique/support group for nearly two decades, and is a member of RWA. Long ago she made the wise decision to marry Superman (if he can’t figure it out, it can’t be done). She had two kids, who were far better behaved than she deserved, and grew into truly amazing adults. She has a fat, lazy cat named Betty Boop.

“I believe it’s our contradictions that make us interesting. For example, I hate the rain and live in the Willamette Valley, one of the rainiest places in the country. I love artsy places full of interesting, creative people, and live in a suburb full of 9-5 people wearing sensible shoes. I shop resale and am surrounded by strip malls. I’m an introvert and I work part time as a grocery clerk— an extrovert’s job. I love fiction and find sports boring. I married a man who loves sports and finds fiction boring. I write and read to escape from the real world, and yet I love stories that reflect real life.”

Visit Tammy’s website for blog posts on Life in the Express Lane, or email her at

You can find Tammy here:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

You can purchase COUSIN Q here:

Amazon $0.99

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Today I'd like for you to help me welcome USA Today best-selling 
author Erica Ridley to the blog! Let's get to know her better. 

How do you balance the demands of your everyday life and your writing life?

I try to wake up early and write for a few uninterrupted hours before “real” life intrudes. I find that if I wait until after my workday ends, my brain is mush, and no longer capable of coming up with compelling scenes. Also, by putting writing first, I can go through the rest of the day feeling like I’ve already accomplished something important!

That's a good way to look at it! Now, please give us a brief glimpse at your road to publication.

When I decided to try and write professionally, I knew it would take a lot of hard work and that there was a chance of not making it, so I promised myself I would give myself a full year, and only stop if there was no sign that I was moving in the right direction. The first year, I finished two manuscripts. The second year, I finaled in or won multiple writing contests. The third year, I landed a literary agent. The fourth year, I signed my first contract. The fifth year, my debut novel was on shelves nationwide and across the globe!

Awesome. Speaking of globes, where do you live? Where would you love to live?

I was born in the United States, and have lived in six different countries. I currently live on a macadamia farm in the rainforests of Costa Rica, and love it immensely. (Except when I’m missing the crepe vendors of France or real Italian gelato.) Given my wanderlust, I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself somewhere else a few years from now, but for now I’m happy in Costa Rica.

Wow! I don't believe I've ever had a writer on here who lived on a macadamia farm in Costa Rica. ;) When trick-or-treating as a kid, was there any kind of candy that you didn’t like to get?

Please don’t throw tomatoes at me when I admit that I hate gummy bears! They were always the first thing I traded away.

That's a first, too. (I mean gummy bears! Who hates gummy bears?) Ahem. Name your favorite children's story.

I loved Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.

Okay. You made up points with that answer. Two of my favorites! What was your nickname growing up or now?

Fraggle, based on an unfortunate resemblance to “Red” Fraggle on the first day of 7th grade!

What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

The internet! I get the jitters every time my phone runs low on battery.

I feel that way whenever my laptop goes on the fritz! What are your three favorite smells?

Bread, Coffee, Cookies

Yum! Those have to be up there for me, too! Well thank you for answering my questions. Let's learn some more about. 

Blurb ~

Captain Xavier Grey's body is back amongst the beau monde, but his mind cannot break free from the horrors of war. His friends try to help him find peace. He knows he doesn't deserve it. Just like he doesn't deserve the attentions of the sultry bluestocking intent on seducing him into bed...

Spinster Jane Downing wants off the shelf and into the arms of a hot-blooded man. Specifically, the dark and dangerous Captain Grey. She may not be destined to be his wife, but nothing will stop her from being his mistress. She could quote classical Greek by the age of four. How hard can it be to learn the language of love?

Excerpt ~

When Captain Xavier Grey finds himself snowbound with a sultry bluestocking intent on seduction, he does what any honorable soldier would do: He tries to make her think of him as “just a friend.” Unfortunately, the absence of servants means the gruff ex-soldier is force to act as lady’s maid...

Miss Downing had moved the stool before the fireplace, and sat with her back toward him. A cinnamon-colored dress gaped below her nape as she tilted her head to one side and struggled to drag a pearl comb through her long, wavy hair. Each curl glimmered in the firelight, then nestled back against the curve of her breast and the small of her spine.

He had never seen anything more erotic in his life.

“Would you like me to—” He clapped his chest when his voice came out far too husky. After clearing his throat, he tried again. “Shall I lace your stays?”

“Only if you wish to.” Rosy firelight—or perhaps a light blush—colored her exposed neck.

“I have to,” he answered, not bothering to hide the strangled desperation in his voice. “For both of us.”

“You don’t have to.” She turned around and looked him square in the eyes. “You wish to.”

A surprised laugh burst from his throat. His bluestocking might be exceptionally well read, but she knew very little about men.

“No. What I wish to do are acts so unapologetically carnal, the ink would catch fire if I attempted to commit my ideas to paper. But what I’m going to do is lace up your stays, toast some breakfast, and put you on the first coach back to London. You will thank me later.”

“I will think of you later.” The tip of her tongue ran along the bottom of her upper lip. “Just as I did last night.”

He clutched the doorjamb and held his position. If he went to her right now, it would not be to lace her stays. They were playing with fire.

She turned back to the hearth and resumed teasing the knots from her curly hair. “I don’t suppose you’ve any skill with a comb? My lady’s maid is the only one who could ever vanquish these tangles, and I fear I’m only making the matter worse.”

His jaw worked. He was profoundly grateful she couldn’t witness the naked desire writ upon his face.

Yes, he wanted to run his fingers through that long, silken hair. To touch it, to comb it, but mostly to have its softness be the sole blanket above their hot, twined bodies.

Which was simultaneously the best and worst idea to have ever crossed his mind. He liked her too much to let her throw away her future on a tryst with someone like him.

“We can’t be lovers, Miss Downing. Now or ever. You think me someone I am not.” As she met his gaze, he infused his tone with cold finality. “Your vision of me is flawed. A romanticized, idealized knight who saves the day and wins his lady’s favor. I am no knight. I do not deserve your favors. I will not be your seducer.”

She lifted a half-bare shoulder. “Right now I think you’re someone who doesn’t know how to unknot curly hair and doesn’t wish to come out and say so.”

“I know how to comb hair.” Against his better judgment, he stormed forward and snatched the pearl comb from her fingers. “Stand up. Not another word until you’re properly laced.”

She rose to her feet as docile as a lamb.

Xavier wasn’t remotely fooled.

With the comb between his teeth, he cinched her stays and buttoned her gown as quickly as possible. When she settled back on the stool, he lifted her hair in one hand and began to gently tease the tangles free, starting from the ends.

The firelight caught each curl as it released, turning the long brown waves into rippling gold.

When a little, contented sigh escaped Miss Downing’s throat, the tension in his neck muscles softened. Her eyes were closed, and a half-smile curved her lips. The corners of his mouth quirked in response.

His seductive bluestocking was a far better cat than that devil creature she’d brought in a basket. He could comb her hair for hours, just to listen to her relaxed sighs and watch the blissful expression upon her pretty face.

His fingers froze in place. He could do this for hours? Just because she liked it?

“Good enough.” He tossed the comb into her lap and stalked out the door before her big brown eyes and sweet-smelling skin domesticated him any further. She would be gone in the next two hours. He would see to it personally.



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Author Bio ~

Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up. Now, Erica is a USA Today best-selling author of historical romance novels. Her latest series, The Dukes of War, features roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England. When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, ziplining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest. 

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Giveaway ~

Erica has offered to giveaway one e-copy of THE EARL'S DEFIANT WALLFLOWER to one winner from commenters below. Be sure to leave your email address so we know where to send your prize!

Monday, March 2, 2015

~ You Never Know What Lurks IN THE WOODS!!!! Muhaha! ~

In the Woods

Based upon the original horror screenplay IN THE WOODS by Lynn Drzick, now an independent motion picture.

Hundreds of years ago their battle began . . .

In an age of knights and sorcery, a good king must raise a monster to protect his people from the demon unleashed by a dark-hearted enemy determined to claim his kingdom. But once called forth upon blood-drenched fields, can such evil ever be truly laid to rest?

To a present day community held hostage by fear, a serial killer will soon be the least of its worries after two off-duty firefighters enter a forest and find a grave. What they dig up isn’t a victim or family pet. When they race from the woods, they bring a timeless hell with them . . .

Excerpt ~

The woods were thick and green, a lush paradise of almost primal splendor. No marked pathways wound through the tangle of vine and overgrown brush, only the natural trails followed by inhabitants of the forest. Eden must have been such a place, untouched by civilization, rich with verdant foliage and host to a cacophony of sounds, each celebrating life renewed and reborn.

Only on this day, the chorus ringing out beneath the canopy of spreading oaks wasn’t a symphony of life. It was a loud, discordant dirge of death.

The resounding clash of steel on steel peeled through the woods, harsh, out of place amid the peaceful setting, an ugly man-made tune where only the delicate melodies of nature should have played.Branches snapped, brush gave way in a noisy yielding to activity not at meant for a quiet glade. Against the mellow pallet of greens and carpet of mossy browns, glints of callous metal flashed when touched briefly by spears of sunlight that penetrated the tunnel of interlaced limbs. And a scent, both redolent of life and death, challenged the earthy cycle of woodland decay as vivid red blasphemed the sacred forest floor.

Battle raged between armored knights, fighting man-to-man in the most primitive of combat, for that was all the dense stand of trees would allow. It was no organized attack, with orderly lines and mounted men. The terrain over which they fought would not permit such luxury. Instead, a brutal, chopping, hacking, within arm’s reach war raged with barely room to accommodate the full swing of a sword, but plenty to provide for the spilling of blood. Two sides engaged, one in the pure gleam of silver, the other in the flat black of death’s very door. None could say which side ruled the day, only that each foot of ground, given or taken, was earned or lost with a tragic toll. Such was the way of any war once reduced to its most basic component.


“It’s hard to see just how many there are, sire! They’re coming out of the forest like rodents!”

“Which is what they are!”

Prince Freeacas threw up the visor to his helm and glared through the tight grouping of trees. He could see glimpses of warriors, both his and the enemy’s, engaged in close quartered combat—a sword slashing here, an ax falling there, everywhere the ringing of mortal blows upon steel and bone. Pure madness, waging battle under such conditions, but war was not a sane endeavor under the best of circumstances. Here, it was necessity.

A sudden movement to his left distracted the young prince. He caught the dull black sheen of his enemy’s armor, like darkness fast approaching, as a knight charged from the cover of the trees bent on slaying him to win the day. Before Freeacas could react in his own defense, Galan, the silver knight who served as his protector and friend, stepped in to deflect the blow with his own sword. A brief contest of strength ensued as blades locked at the hilts, and hate-filled eyes met with only inches between them. Then Galan threw forward with all his weight behind it, upsetting the would-be assassin who stumbled back, his balance precarious. Galan drove on, taking full advantage of the weakness, forcing the man to his knees, then to his back, ending it at last with a fateful thrust of his blade through a vulnerable gap of the breastplate where it gave at the underarm.

Freeacas stood unmoved by the savagery. After years of trying to conquer a foreign land with only his wits and the strength of his right arm to keep him alive, nothing held the power to shock the young prince. He understood battle, and he understood the fighting man’s mind. Loyalty was best demanded when it was fairly earned. He was not one to retake his lands by directing others from a safe distance. The staining of souls lost to his massive blade darkened his mail and mood. These were his properties, his inheritance, stolen by cunning thieves whilst he was away in the Holy land fighting for their salvation. He could not expect others to die at his command if he were not willing to do the same at their side.

Of late, the countryside seemed bathed in blood. Men steeped in violence with the scent of dying in their noses from long hard years at the Crusades had no patience for peaceful solutions. They fought each other as viciously as they had faced the Arab hordes, only this time, the Promised Land they died for was their own home soil. A man was capable of terrible things when he was defending what was his by birth and royal decree. As this land was his, and would remain his while he had yet breath in his body.

A cruel and clever adversary, Karth bid his time until his neighboring king was left unprotected as his knights and only son sailed for Jerusalem. Karth had expended none of his own in that noble cause and hence ruled a mighty number. King Haggert lost more than he held to the plundering black plague of knights, but now that Prince Freeacas was home to lead his vassals in a reclaiming quest, the odds were more than just even.

Or so they had been to this point.

Prince Freeacas frowned as he observed several of his knights running afoot, not toward battle, but rather fleeing from it. A man of iron fortitude, he hated cowardice almost as much as he loved his father, the king. There was no room for the faint of heart and weak of nerve in the heat of confrontation. Had he been able to recognize those yellow curs, he would have made note to strike them of all their courtly privileges and strip them of their feudal lands. Such behavior was not to be tolerated by any man of honor who’d taken oaths of fealty that bound as firmly as blood.

Furiously, he stalked in their direction, shouting, “Where are you men running? Are you not warriors?” in hopes of shaming them into standing their ground. But he saw one last flash of silver as they disappeared into the trees. He still cursed them as another knight came running from the foray, also abandoning his duty to his king.

It would not be borne!

Freeacas lunged forward, gripping the knight by the arm. The man swung toward him, sword half raised in his own defense until he recognized his liege. He went still, then slowly lifted his visor.Freeacas was struck by the look of sheer terror upon his features.More than just a healthy fear of consequence placed that deathly pallor upon his face and left his stare blank as gazing crystals.

“The battle’s not done ’til all are bleeding!” he called angrily, wanting to shock the cur from his fright with the boldness of his words. But no such concession could be won. Instead, a deeper panic rose, and with it, incredible words came pouring forth.

“Sire, a beast came out of the sky and attacked us!” the knight all but babbled. His gaze flew over the prince’s shoulder to anxiously scan the woods beyond as if expecting some supernatural terror to charge out in pursuit.

“Beast?” Freeacas jerked the man up close, fighting the want to shake him. What nonsense stemmed from a fearful imagination. Beast, indeed. Probably the man’s own conscience swooping down to chastise him for failing upon the field of honor.

But the knight wasn’t daunted by the prince’s sneering doubt.He pointed, plates of armor rattling upon his quivering arm.

“Over the hill! Our men are being ripped apart!”

And speaking that much of the horror he’d seen, the knight broke free of Freeacas’s hold and continued to run into the concealing depths of the forest.

Spitting an oath to banish the ominous chill the man’s actions awoke in him, Freeacas looked toward the far hill. It was framed like a mounded grave against the glare of the now sinking sun. He squinted, able to distinguish silver or black upon several shapes moving between the spearlike jut of trees. With Galan at his side, he marched toward the incline, determined to discover if the knight’s words be fancy or more impossibly, fact. Passage wasn’t easy over the rutted ground, where a carpet of leaves ofttimes hid a treacherous twist of roots. He stumbled frequently but struggled on, sweating heavily now inside the weight of his protective mail. He told himself the steamy forest heat caused that steady stream, not anxiety over the knight’s fantastic claims. Superstitious folly! What kind of beast came from the heavens to send brave men-at-arms scurrying like threatened forest hares beneath the talons of a hawk? God’s blood, he would soon find out!

Three of his men burst over the crest of the hill and came racing downward with two black knights in hurried chase. His knights must have seen him, for their wide, glazed eyes fixed with his for timeless seconds as they approached then split to pass him on either side.They never slowed, never looked back as they left their prince to fend off their pursuers.

They didn’t stop. Nay, they didn’t even pause in their self-preserving flight! Momentarily stunned, Freeacas exchanged a look with Galen, who appeared equally outraged and just as confused by the behavior of their seasoned warriors. These were not green lads plucked from humble roots. They were the realm’s finest crop of defenders at arms, no strangers to battle.

There was no time to think on it longer. Upon spotting them, the black helmed pursuers gave a shout of challenge.

Not one to be influenced by another man’s cowardice, Freeacas didn’t wait for the black knights to engage him. He charged upward, straight at them, drawing his sword as he let loose his own fierce battle cry. He could hear the clanking thunder of Galan on his heels.

Just as he neared the top of the hill, a black knight stepped out from behind the shield of an oak and swung his sword. Freeacas felt the impact shiver through the very marrow of his bones, but he didn’t fall, nor did his armor fail him. As he came about to face his foe, he had a clear view of his knights as they bounded into the safety of the trees beyond, less concerned about the life of their leader then they were their own.

Fury braced Freeacas. Letting out a yell, he barreled into the opposing knight. They both went over like felled timbers upon the uneven terrain, skidding downward upon leaf-covered ground, wrestling for purchase, until the prince managed to deliver a lethal blow to the head of the other. He pushed free and stumbled to his feet, leaning momentarily upon a nearby tree as breath forced against bruised and complaining ribs. Galan had overpowered his first opponent and was intent upon defeating the second. Freeacas’s help wasn’t needed there, so as soon as his wind was recovered, the prince, again, forged his way toward the hill’s pinnacle to see what lay beyond.

To discover what made his men abandon honor and all that was righteous.

Even for his youthful years, Freeacas had seen some horrific scenes of battle. Carnage that would haunt his nights for an eternity.He’d partaken in skirmishes so brutal and vile that he’d come to doubt his own humanity. But never, never had he witnessed such a sight of unbelievable slaughter as that which played out on the battle ground below. In that moment, he understood the terror of those who’d fled before him, for he felt it rise, cold as death to seize his heart in a fist of constricting panic.

“Lord help us all.”

The words whispered in an unthinking prayer from a man too numbed to comprehend more complex thought.

What in the name of all that was holy?

Was he mad? Surely his eyes deceived him, for what they beheld was not of this earthly plane.

The rattle of armament and thud of hoofbeats bearing down up him tore the prince from his daze. Instinct borne in the heat of many combats served him, steeling his fractured wits with a survival-sharpened calm. He swiveled to face the mounted knight surging up the hill, intent upon impaling him on lowered lance.

With sword raised, Freeacas stood his ground until the last possible moment. Then, just before the lance point found its mark, he dropped to one knee, forcing the tip downward with a two-handed chop of his blade. Sparks shot up from the connecting friction. A furrow ripped along the ground, the way the charging knight had meant for it to tear through Freeacas, until the lance buried deep. The sudden shock of stopped motion hurtled the knight backwards from his saddle.

Freeacas was up before knight met earth with a stunning crash of armor. A single blow was enough to nearly separate head from shoulders.

The prince wasted no time gloating over his victory. With one last look into the valley below, he rushed to catch the reins of the dead knight’s charger and struggled to mount unaided. To Galan, he cried, “Signal the men to retreat. We cannot win this day. I’ve news I must take back to the king. He would believe it from no other’s lips.”

And as Galan glanced down into that valley of death, his gaze blanked with dread and understanding.

For racing at the side of their enemy was an unearthly champion; the beast of which the terrified knight had spoken. Words could not describe the whole of it, the awful unnaturalness of it. A beast, true. A demon, most likely.

As Freeacas sped toward his father’s council, the huge, wolf-like creature, the length of a destrier, continued its attack. With its jaws full of dagger-sharp teeth, it crunched through mail to bone below. With tusks and a central horn, it gored its victims like a vengeful blade. With taloned feet, it tore open armor as if shredding fragile parchment, while delivering blows from its thick, serpentine tail with all the brutal force of a Norseman’s smashing hammer.

A devil dog. A hound from hell.

The bane of their survival.


Author bio ~

With over 60 sales since her first publication in 1987, which was written in long hand then typed up on a manual Smith Corolla, Portage, Michigan author Nancy Gideon’s writing encompasses romance genres from historicals and regencies to contemporary suspense and the paranormal.

Under her own name, she’s a bestseller in contemporary romantic suspense, has written an award-winning vampire romance series, and has a six book shape-shifter series with Pocket Books. Also listed on the International Movie Database (IMDB), she collaborated on Indie horror films In the Woods and Savage with screenwriting and ADR script credits, and even played a small role, that of “bar extra.”

Writing historical romance as Dana Ransom, she’s a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure” and “K.I.S.S.” award winner with books published in Romanian, Italian, Russian, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, French, German, Icelandic and Chinese.

As Rosalyn West, she’s a HOLT Medallion winner with nominations for “Best North American Historical Romance” and “Best Historical Book in a Series.”

A prolific writer, Nancy attributes her creative output, which once peaked at seven novels in one year, to her love of history and a gift for storytelling. She also credits the discipline learned through a background in journalism and OCD. The due date for her third book and her second son were on the same day . . . and both were early! When on deadline, she turns on the laptop between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. to get a chapter in before heading in to her full time job as a legal assistant. She’s a member of GDRWA, MMRWA, FF&P and dotes on her critique group.

You can find Nancy at:

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Giveaway ~

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